Nick Carver, Chief Executive of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has shared the following message with staff this morning.
Despite being an optimist by nature, this weekend was dispiriting. Already downgraded plans for Christmas have now been further reduced.
On a personal level, I am unable to see a son, the nature of who’s employment will mean it will be a prolonged time before we next meet and supporting my elderly parents has become more complicated.
My experience is mirrored, I am sure, in so many of your lives in a weekend that has reminded us that what we value and treasure are the relationships we have and the loves we share. In a dark, wet winter we yearn for a return to that we have known and cherish.
However, hard as the new restrictions will be for us, we must remember why they are in place, and why it is important to follow them to protect our communities, and each other.
This weekend the trust was busy. We now have 77 patients in the Trust who have COVID-19, and 181 staff are currently off with COVID-related isolation or illness.
We will remain stretched and challenged for some time.
Whilst I cannot change the circumstances that we are in, I do want to assure you of two things and request of you a third.
Firstly, please do know how very important your work is and how much it is appreciated , both within the trust and amongst the people we serve.
Secondly, amidst the frustration of the weekend, be reassured that there is a way out. The way out of the pandemic is through widespread vaccination. We have vaccinated over 2,000 high risk elderly people with the first dose, will vaccinate more high-risk staff this week. We will see the marked acceleration of the national programme in January.
Vaccination will beat the virus.
Finally, a request. This weekend my mother, an evacuee from the East End during the war, reminded me that the unity of the people was what got her and others through hard times. Please do all you can to demonstrate our unity to those you work with -– unity of purpose and concern.
Please look out for your colleagues, be attuned to those who are feeling particularly pressurised and stressed. You may be the one who makes the difference.
Thank you for all that you continue to do as a team of remarkable people in these challenging times.